A Man With A Vision...And A Pen
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 | Author: eventer79
Looking at the picture in yesterday's post, I am reminded that the the conflict between agriculture and habitat is nothing new. Neither is the demand for people with the passion and conviction to stand in the face of the status quo.

"Ding" Darling (1876-1962) is a name most of us in wildlife biology are familiar with but one that I think the rest of society has missed out on. He was a gifted editorial artist (his cartoons grace this post), which garnered him two Pulitzers. But even more important was his skill and dedication for conservation education. He founded the National Wildlife Federation as well as the US Duck Stamp program, just to name two of his lasting legacies.

Leadership and education like his are priceless in our rapidly changing world. People are bombarded with information and MISinformation from every direction at once on a daily basis. The long term consequences are lost among the trees of the short term gain. More than ever we need voices of reason and compassion, like Darling's to cut through the noise of the everyday.

It is at once hopeful and heartbreaking that even then, over 50 years ago, Darling and others like him saw that without our natural resources, we are nothing. Without clean water and air, without the richness of our global fauna, our future is lost. Darling also understood, in a way so beautifully illustrated in the cartoon above, that conservation and economic development are NOT mutually exclusive. It's not all or nothing, either or, as the naysayers would have you believe. All it takes is some thoughtfulness, common sense, planning and a dash of love to hold on to our invaluable "natural capital" on which our lives are built.

If we can just do that, we can avoid ending up with this:

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On August 27, 2009 at 2:08 PM , lifeshighway said...

Came by to feed the fish. Left learning something new.

On August 27, 2009 at 9:30 PM , eventer79 said...

Then I have successfully completed my job!